Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

Ken Buck gets the Politico treatment

Jane Norton isn't the only one gunning for Ken Buck. Colorado's rogue Republican candidate for Michael Bennet's U.S. Senate seat became the subject of some national target practice yesterday, in a Politico piece headlined "Primary Words Haunt Ken Buck." Words like "Social Security," which Buck once called a "horrible policy."

"He's questioned the constitutionality of Social Security, toyed with phasing out the federal student loan program and spoken of lowering the wall that separates church and state," writes David Catanese. "Meet Ken Buck, the Colorado Republican Senate primary candidate who looks like the next Rand Paul or Sharron Angle -- another tea-party insurgent poised to upset the GOP establishment favorite. Like Paul and Angle, whose post-nomination rollouts were notably rocky, the upstart Weld County district attorney carries with him similar made-for-cable TV political baggage And like those two, Buck's more unconventional statements haven't received a full vetting yet."

But they will, if Buck continues to lead Norton -- last week, a SurveyUSA poll had him ahead by 16 points -- and winds up winning the August 10 primary.

And Politico got the ball rolling, by digging up Buck's "horrible policy" description of Social Security.

"I've been on the road for a year and a half, and there are times where I want to get out of some place and get some sleep and I have made a statement that is not consistent with what I have said before," Buck told Politico. "It is a very long process and having a camera on you, there's definitely instances where I could have chosen my words better."

And there will no doubt be more of those instances as the campaign continues.

As state Democratic Party chair Pat Waak tells Politico (several days after she said something similar in a Westword interview), a Buck primary win could be great news for the Dems. "He's catering to a very narrow minority in the state, and that's going to kill him in a general election," she says. "The more radical things he says, the better for us."

Read the entire Politico story here.

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun